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Best Practices in Collaboration

The collaboration outlined here includes campus activities and learning opportunities that conceivably could be done individually but that "we can do better together." Successful collaborations can take on a variety of different forms. When considering collaborative opportunities, here are three types of examples that demonstrate the varying degree of time, energy, resources, and impact:

  • Utilization: One-time, impermanent interactions or events; i.e. a class required to attend an already-scheduled campus event or speaker, with or without reflection on attendance (cross promotion of event).
  • Invitation: A co-curricular partner invited to speak to a class or a faculty request for a workshop designed and led by a co-curricular partner with relevant experience, passion, interest, or expertise.
  • Collaboration: A program, a course, or an event coordinated by the team of faculty member(s) and co-curricular partner(s), in which all parties have significant input into the goals, outcomes, design, and execution of the program. Often these collaborations generate long-term or permanent and reciprocal relationships that result in a deeper integration into a course or specific student experience.

Check out the "Collaborate with Us" section of each of the campus resources listed here to learn more about specific preferences and processes when seeking to collaborate with these offices, departments, programs, or staff.

While each office has outlined their desired types of engagement on their own web pages, here are a few general things to consider when exploring or seeking out collaboration, especially more complex and integrated forms:

  • Outcomes (What/Why): Start with the end in mind. Questions to consider:
    • What are you hoping this collaborative project or initiative will achieve?
    • How will it expand and improve the educational experience of your students?
  • Expertise (Who): On a campus such as CC, expertise takes a wide variety of forms, including scholarly, practical, experiential, and innate abilities, knowledge bases and capacities. For campus-wide collaboration to be possible, it is important to consider and recognize the gifts, talents, and contributions of all members of the campus community. So, think outside of the box and consider the wide variety of partners who may be interested in collaborating with you and able to contribute to achieving your goal. Questions to consider:
    • Are their departments on campus doing similar work?
    • Do I know of faculty or staff with shared interest?
    • Who else might be interested in this project that I may be overlooking?
    • What do I hope my partners can bring to the project?
  • Timing (When): While Faculty, staff, students, and community partners may all be eager collaborators, each group operates on different calendars and is impacted by the pace of the block in different ways. So, it is important to begin building and seeking out partnerships as early on as possible, especially if you are looking to create deeper collaborations. Questions to consider:
    • How long will it take to plan and successfully implement?
    • Is there a specific block in which this collaborative initiative must take place?
    • What other time constraints are we impacted by?
  • Resources (How): As resources of time, energy, talent, and funding are all limited, it is important to consider what types and how much of these you have at your disposal as well as what, if any, constraints you may be facing.
    • How much will this cost? What are my funding options?
    • What kind of commitment am I asking from my own department and from the partnering offices/program/staff?
    • Are there other people on campus that might be able to assist with this project?
  • Reciprocity: Collaboration should be a co-creative, reciprocal, beneficial, and multidirectional process and relationship for all partners and resources involved.
    • Who is served by this program?
    • Is there benefit for all parties given their roles on campus or in the community?
    • Is there room for partners to modify, shape, or change the project to est meet their needs or capacities?
    • How would each partner measure success?

Additional Campus Resources for Collaboration

  • Search the Course Schedule to find classes that might offer convergence opportunities with your idea, program, event, etc.
  • Explore the Online Scholarship Database, where you can search key terms or faculty names to find faculty with shared interest.
  • Connect with the Crown Faculty Center.

Articles, Publications, & Other Resources Highlighting the Importance of Collaboration

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020